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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 02, 1912, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-03-02/ed-1/seq-3/

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"CHILDREN OF THE STRIKE" SUPPLANT GARYS AND
SCHWABS IN HALLS OF CONGRESS
Law Makers Stand Aghast as They Look Upon Stunted Bodies
of "American Labor" as Turned Out By Wool Trust.
and strike leader, was the first
witness called. Lipson spoke in
simple, broken English, and
.Washington, March 2. In
those same halls where, a few
weeks ago, Carnegie and Hill and
Schwab and Gary and other mil
lionaire masters of steel talked
calmly of. millions and billions,
thirteen "children of the Law
rence strike" appeared today.
And the congressmen, used to
rising in their chairs and talking
loftily of American labor and
American freedom and American
greatness, stood aghast.
Thin, peaked faces, marked by
toil and starvation! Coarse,
work-hardened hands ! Slim,
stunted, almost deformed bodies !
Patched and frayed "Sunday
best" .clothes !
Such were the "children of the
strike," who appeared before the
rules committee of the house to
day to 'bear testimony to the
treatment they and their mothers
had received at the hands of the
Lawrence police and militia.
All of the stories of poverty
and sickness and horror in the
world have not the pathos that
the faces of those children carried
today. They were living, breath
ing "exhibits" testifying to the
cruelty and oppression and in
justice of the trust.
And" the dignified law makers
"lost their blase air, and the spec
tators crowded around the little
band of frightened,' trembling
children.
Samuel Lipson, mill worker
congressman and spectators hung
on his words.
"I struck," he said, "because I
could not make a living for my
wife a;id family of four children.
I am a skilled workman: My
wages average $9 to $10 a week.
"But there was so much slack
time in Lawrence often I got
only $3 or $4 a week and that
would be all we had to live on.
"It is not much to live on for a
week $3 or $4. We used to eat
only bread and water sometimes
not much of that. When I drew
full wages, we used to have meat
once in a whjle sometimes as
often as three times a week."
Then he turned his back on the
committee.
"Carmella!" he cried. "Stand
up!"
From ,the back row of the
huddfed, frightened group of chil
dren, a sweet-faced, pallid little
16-year-old girl arose. It did not
seem -possible that she could be
16. She looked not more than 12.
"Two years ago," said Lipson,
turning to the committee once
more, "this girl went to work in
the mills. ,
"Three weeks afterward the
machines were speeded up so fast
that her hair was caught and al
most torn off. She has been un
der doctor's care ever since ,
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